MoU to extend emergency ambulance service

Bhubaneswar: Odisha government on Tuesday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Ziqitza Healthcare to extend the emergency ambulance services in 15 districts of the state.

The MoU was signed between Ziqitza Healthcare Limited (ZHL) CEO Sweta Mangal and Health secretary Pradipta Mohapatra in presence of Health Minister Damodar Rout here.

Though the state government had earlier launched Dial 108 Emergency Service under Odisha Emergency Medical Ambulance Service (OEMAS) in 15 districts, 15 other districts were not covered during the first phase.

Now after signing of the MoU, the state could provide 140 ambulances in the remaining 15 districts within six months. About 420 ambulances will be engaged with life care facilities across the state while 140 ambulances will be provided in the 15 districts.

The agreement is signed for five years of health service, Rout said.

In the second phase, the ambulance will be launched in the districts Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapada, Deogarh, Sonepur, Bolangir, Bargarh, Jharsuguda, Kandhamal, Gajapati, Nuapada, Nabarangpur, Malkangiri, Kalahandi, Boudh and Nayagarh.

The ambulances are equipped with basic life support systems.

The ZHL, which is also providing the service in Punjab, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Bihar and Maharashtra, has claimed to have maintained an average response time of 15-20 minutes in urban areas, 30 minutes in semi-urban centres and 30-40 minutes in rural areas.

We have availed 31,943 patients by July 13 so far in the 15 districts. The ambulances are reaching in time, said Mangal.

The service will create a dedicated cadre of life support-care providers called emergency medical technicians (EMTs). It will be employing around 653 EMTs by providing them with top standard training through the Life Support Institute of Health Sciences under American Heart Association of which 217 have already been in place.